Taking the MacBook Pro Plunge ... Questions.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hotwire132002, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2004
    Cadillac, MI
    With the release of Boot Camp, I've decided it's time to sell my PC and pick up an Intel Mac to replace it. Long story short, I figure the most cost-effective route that will work for me is to sell both my PC and my PowerBook and buy a MacBook Pro.

    I'm excited to upgrade to the MBP -- I spent a few minutes on one in the Apple store and it seemed to me to be faster, even, than my G5. However, I'm nervous to upgrade at the same time - I'm concerned that many of my non-Universal programs will run slower on the MBP than on the PowerBook.

    Most of my work revolves around Final Cut Studio, and I figure the MacBook Pro will be much better than my PowerBook for video work now that FCS is Universal. I also do a lot of 3D work in Cinema 4D, but once again, I figure since it's Universal the MBP will be a huge improvement over my PowerBook.

    My concern is the applications I use frequently that aren't universal. The top three of these are Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop Elements. I'm not too concerned about Office or Dreamweaver -- I would assume that those would run fine under Rosetta (input would be appreciated, though -- any real-life experience there?)

    My biggest concern about the switch is the performance of Photoshop Elements. Has anyone run it on an Intel Mac, and if so - what are the results? Is it unbearably slow, or usable? I'm currently running Photoshop Elements 2 on a 1.5Ghz PBG4 with 512MB RAM, so I would think if I move to a MBP with 1GB RAM and a 1.83Ghz Core Duo I would get similar performance to my current machine... but can anyone confirm that?

    My last concern is that I use FileMaker Pro for an occasional database. Unfortunately, I use version 3 (since a friend bought the latest version and gave me his old copy, which does what I need just fine.) -- which runs only on OS 9. I assume I'm out of luck there -- I'll have to buy the OS X version if I want to continue using FileMaker, right? If I'm not mistaken, Rosetta doesn't support Classic.

    I'm down to the last three questions now -- First off, I'm aiming toward the 1.83Ghz MacBook Pro. I really don't see the need to pay an extra $500 for the extra .17Ghz, extra 512MB of RAM (I can easily upgrade the 1.83's RAM for a lot less!) and extra video memory. Any reason to go up to the 2.0Ghz?

    Second to last -- As mentioned, I plan to dual-boot into Windows for a little bit of programming and the occasional video game. I mostly play sim games (The Sims 2, Roller Coaster Tycoon, SimCity, etc.) And the occasional shooter (mostly Halo). From what I've read, it looks like the MacBook should run these just fine, but, once again, confirmation would be nice. :)

    Finally -- Has anyone compared the speed of the MBP to the PMG5? My main machine is a Dual 2.5Ghz G5 Tower, With 2GB RAM and a 250GB Hard drive. I'd be curious to see how the MBP Compares.

    I guess that's about it -- if anyone has any other comments, pointers, or warnings about the switch, I'd really appreciate to hear them. :) As always, thanks in advance for any help you can give, and sorry again for the long post!
  2. Roba macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2006
    Well if you plan to play games now and in the future then the 2.0ghz model has a 256mb graphics card whereas the 1.83ghz model has a 128mb. Some games may play better with the higher graphics card and this may be especially so in the future so this is good future proofing.

    This graphics card also gives a better performance.

    If none of these apply to you and you do not have any need for the better performing graphics card then the 1.83ghz model could be ideal for you.
  3. kineticpast macrumors member

    May 13, 2005
    Remember these processors are dual core, so it is more like an extra .34GHz.
  4. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Well, I can't offer you the experienced view you're after, but it does sound like you've thought it through, are aware of the pros and cons, and are in a strong position to go ahead and buy your MBP.

    I'd always recommend going for the highest spec you can afford, especially if it's going to help with the odd Rosetta app.
  5. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    But then $500 put away in an account somewhere will buy a decent bit of Universal Binary software when it comes out.

    Take the slight performance hit and spend the money on software as it comes available, unless you really need the best machine possible at the moment.
  6. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    Promise? :D :D :D

    I don't know, compared to a PBG4, but the MBP will be "usable." At work, I've switched from a dual 2.0GHz G5 PowerMac to an Intel iMac, and Photoshop is fine.

    That's right--you will need to upgrade FM.

    You said FM was your last concern :D

    If you like round numbers. ;) Really, the graphics RAM is the only thing, mostly for the future. I.e., maybe Roller Coster Tycoon 2008 will require 256MB. Still, that's a lot of $$$ for graphics RAM. Also, the 2.0's price includes a larger hard drive.

    Just a thought-maybe get the bigger hard drive. With a Windows partition, some FCS projects, various games, etc., you might want 100GB or 120GB.

    Well, I've compared a dual 2.0GHz to a 1.83GHz Intel iMac. (The iMac is probably a little faster than the MBP and obviously the 2.0GHz is slower than the 2.5GHz). In day-to-day stuff, the iMac actually seems snappier than the PM. In processor intensive, UB stuff, the PowerMac is about 30% faster. In non-UB stuff, speeds vary. I haven't really timed anything, but I guess the iMac felt about 1/2-1/3 the speed of the PM under Rosetta for processor intensive stuff. Just navigating around an app, the iMac is great.
  7. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2004
    Cadillac, MI
    OK, so the post was longer than I anticipated. Oops! ;) :D

    I think I'm going to take the plunge and pick up the MacBook Pro. As of now, my PowerBook is up for bids :D. (See my "Feeler" thread in the Marketplace for more info there, if anyone's interested.)

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